January 21st, 2017

Republican-led Senate takes first step to repeal ‘Obamacare’

By Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press on January 11, 2017.

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2017 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican-led Senate is poised to take a step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law despite anxiety among some GOP senators that they still haven’t come up with an alternative. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The nearly party-line51-48 vote came on a nonbinding Republican-backed budget measure that eases the way for subsequent repeal legislation that could come to a vote next month.

The House is slated to vote on the measure on Friday, though some Republicans there have misgivings about setting the repeal effort in motion without a better idea of the replacement plan.

Passage of Thursday’s measure would permit follow-up legislation to escape the threat of a filibuster by Senate Democrats. Republicans are not close to agreement among themselves on what any “Obamacare” replacement would look like, however.

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that repealing and replacing the law should happen “essentially simultaneously.”

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